CHARLIE WARNER/NEWS LEADER
Roger Holdeman and Kerry Kingsley are shown outside the former Conoco gas station in Harmony. Holdeman converted the building into his new small engine business.
CHARLIE WARNER/NEWS LEADER Roger Holdeman and Kerry Kingsley are shown outside the former Conoco gas station in Harmony. Holdeman converted the building into his new small engine business.
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“It turned out to be a win-win situation for all of us. By selling our small engine business to Roger, he’s added another business to the community and is also occupying another building,” noted Kerry Kingsley.

Kingsley was referring to the recent sale of Kingsley Mercantile’s small engine business to Roger Holdeman. The transaction took place the first of the year.

Holdeman had been working and managing the small engine business at the Harmony hardware store for six years. During that time, Holdeman was able to expand the business to one of the busiest small engine enterprises in the area.

“Kerry was great to work for,” Holdeman said. “Whenever I had an idea that might improve the business, Kerry was always very supportive. He basically let me manage the business and let me run it as if it was my own. I took great pride in what we were doing with the small engine business. One day, I asked Kerry if he would consider selling me the business. He thought about it and agreed to sell it to me.”

“Roger has done such a great job running the small engine business,” Kingsley said. “We had expanded that business so much. It was taking up a large part of our store. When Roger approached us (co-owners Kerry and Jane Kingsley) about it, we talked it over and decided it would be a great move, not only for us and Roger, but also for Harmony.”

Holdeman acquired the former Conoco gas station at 235 Main Avenue North (at the intersection of Highways 52 and 139), completely remodeled the building and now has his new business, Run Right Power Equipment (RRPE), up and running.

“We did a lot of work to the building,” Holdeman said, as he looked around the newly renovated structure. Much of the former garage area was gutted, new wiring, insulation and white steel and/or glass board paneling was installed to the walls and ceiling.

New high efficient lights and thermal pane windows provide for plenty of light. The large “log cabin” Husqvarna display was moved from Kingsley’s hardware store to Holdeman’s business and now greets customers with a cozy, woodsy feel, as they enter the business.

Holdeman plans to continue offering the entire Husqvarna line of lawn and garden tools, including lawn mowers, trimmers, leaf blowers, chain saws and snow blowers.

RRPE will also offer the Oregon cordless power tool line, the Carroll-Stream gas engine line and is also offering the Altoz zero-turn mowers, which are made in Greenbush, Minn.

Holdeman pointed out he’s not planning on getting into the recreational vehicle market, as far as sales or repair work. “Right now, we are staying very busy with what we’ve got with our sales and service,” he said.

RRPE will offer propane cylinder filling, which is a very popular service. “There are a lot of people out there who want their own propane cylinders filled,” Holdeman said.

Holdeman has been working with chain saws and small engines for most of his adult life. He worked as a lumberjack and log hauler in northern California for about 20 years. He then moved to Fillmore County, where he continued to work in the logging business. He also worked for a lawn care maintenance company, where he operated, repaired and serviced all types of lawn and garden equipment.

Kingsley and Holdeman figure the Harmony-based small engine business has been servicing customers in a 25-mile radius. But with small engine businesses in both Rushford and Caledonia shutting their doors recently, the business area has grown significantly.

“When it comes to chainsaws, I have customers as far away as St. Peter, to the west and way into Wisconsin to the east,” Holdeman noted.

Holdeman said he is excited about his new business venture. It’s something he’s thought about for some time, but credited Kingsley for his support and help to make this a reality.

RRPE is open for business from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. until noon on Saturdays.